Plainfield Township Board

Plainfield asks for clarity from One Kent Coalition

August 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

Where is evidence local government has failed?  by BETH ALTENA The Plainfield Township Board joined nearly every other township in Kent County in approving a resolution asking backers of the One Kent Coalition to clarify the details of the plan. Only Clerk Scott Harvey voted against the resolution. “I believe it needs to be put before the voters,” he said. “When you talk about the prosperity of Grand Rapids and look at the names of things in the town, you have to believe their hearts are in the right place.” The resolution regarding the plan to establish a metropolitan government in Kent County and Grand Rapids is a two-page document. It spells out that the township is aware of the coalition’s goal of changing state law to create a metropolitan government, which would consist of a 25-person metropolitan commission with a full-time chief executive with broad powers, including the power to veto ordinances. It states that the Board is not aware of any “reports, studies or other objective evidence suggesting the need for such a radical transformation of government in the County, nor whether, if undertaken, it would result in any continuing benefits for the people of the City and the County.” It states the Board recognizes “Kent County, Grand Rapids and the townships in the County have separate powers, and functions, long established by law, that do not overlap and that enable these municipal bodies to provide services efficiently to their respective constituents… The members of the Township Board desire to adopt this resolution to express their serious concern about this proposal and to suggest the need for sufficient consideration as to whether there are such shortcomings on the part of Kent County and Grand Rapids local government as would justify establishing an entirely new kind of local government never before attempted in Michigan.” The resolution goes on to state strong support of local government and services as close to the people, responsive to their needs and respectful of the cost of government. It asserts that local government has flexibility in how services are provided to constituents and states that local government and Kent County already share public services by agreement through cooperative authorities and “continue to develop innovative ways to providing public services […]

Eagle Scouts honored at Plainfield Township meeting

March 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

Two local Boy Scouts received the groups highest honors on Saturday, March 5 and were recognized by the Plainfield Township Board and audience during the Monday, March 7 meeting at Plainfield Township hall. Mackie May and Scott Bradley are now Eagle Scouts, the most prestigious award the Scouts offer. The boys worked on achieving this honor for nearly a decade. Former President Ford was also an Eagle Scout. The young men led the board in the Pledge of Allegiance prior to the regular meeting. “I couldn’t be more proud of these two young men,” said Plainfield Township Supervisor George Meek. Meek, who is the uncle of Mackie May, said the boys have been working toward this achievement for over nine years. “I think it says a lot for our little township to have not one but two boys achieve this honor.”  

Plainfield Township sues State over water

August 6, 2009 // 0 Comments

‘This is truly a last resort’ Not fighting the state on this could cost Plainfield Township as much as $8 million, advised attorney Douglas Van Essen of Silver & Van Essen Litigation and Counseling. The Plainfield Township Board voted unanimously to enter into a lawsuit with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) during its Monday, August 3 meeting. According to Van Essen, the state has changed its mind on whether a lagoon in the township is a state body of water. He said that on June 30 the head of the DEQ’s water management division told the township the lake had been reclassified as a state body of water, in part because of its size, in part because of the thriving fish and wildlife population it hosts. Under the new designation, the township will no longer be able to discharge lime slurry used in treating water into the lake. The reclassification could include removal of the sediment so far deposited, and require the creation of a new lagoon. This would land lock the township’s water plant and limit the ability to provide water to residents in the future. It could cost the township millions, Van Essen said. Van Essen stressed that the lime is not a pollutant, and is not dangerous. It is the same product used in treating the water that township residents drink. The township has been using the lagoon since 1988 for discharge. At that time, Van Essen said, the DEQ said the lake was not a state body of water and could be used for such a purpose. He stated that the law has not changed, only the opinion of the DEQ officials. Coit Gravel Company owns the lagoon, located behind Family Fare on Northland Drive. Finished with mining from the location, the gravel company agreed to sell the lagoon to the township for $880,000. The sale would be financed by the gravel company for ten years and would allow the continued deposit of slurry. “This will have to be settled in the courts,” Van Essen said. Building another lagoon is possible. The Plainfield Township water treatment property on Plainfield Avenue has room for a smaller lagoon. However, that land was taken through eminent domain because the township projects it […]